In Jacob Faithful we learn about one of the most under-represented groups in the genre-the Thames waterman. Jacob Faithful grows up literally on his father's Thames lighter. When both of his parents die in a very strange freak accident, Jacob is left with a sum of money large enough to get a good start in life. But rather than leave the river, he stays. He is brought up by the owner of the dock where his family's boat was based; and becomes an apprentice first to a bargeman, then a wherryman, and eventually is pressed into the Royal Navy. It's a wonderful story, with great yarns, that accurately shows the bustling Thames River as it was almost 200 years ago.